Came in to Phoenix on Amtrak and had three quiet days of Nintendo and work -- more work than Nintendo; handling post launch support tickets for an iteration of a site and also bug fixes on the core product and also support tickets on another project that other people are also working on. A lot of the tickets on one project are completely unreproducible, which is actually worse, because it effectively takes an infinite amount of time to prove that no one ever anywhere has ever had the problem as described in the report. If it were simply the case that the doohickey that does X simply isn't doing X because it broke and needs to be fixed, that would be infinitely easier. When I left town, I had half a carton of soy milk and half a carton of dairy milk and a few other perishables that went into the freezer. Whatever magic happens when mayonnaise is manufactured gets undone when it is frozen and thawed. This afternoon, hoping to make a sandwich, I opened the thing and canola oil sloshed onto the floor. There was a layer of white on the bottom of the jar and the rest of the stuff, on top, was apparently pure canola oil. Attempts to remix it failed. It doesn't solidify into a paste and just separates again. I hit the Fry's across the street for beer and whiskey when I first came in. A few days later, I noticed that I already had a bottle of cheap scotch on the counter. Definitely feeling like my brain isn't all here. I outed myself as being in town when I signed up to go to two friends going away party Saturday and the code cave solitude abruptly came to an end as I started agreeing to do fun things that I really can't do. I hit the Farmer's Market that morning. Yay, it's pepper season! I'm not sure why I bought half of Horny Toad's inventory rather than all of it. That and a pile of tomatoes and I feel somewhat civilized again. I ate the ramen I took back with me, then I made a big batch of black beans and ate that for about four meals, then I started eating cans of black olives that were in the cupboard or else boxed mac and cheese (considered emergency food). The market helped. I had rice with zucchini it, care of the Fuzzy Logic rice cooker, and I ate lots of tomatoes and then tonight, fried up some potatoes. There are greens in the fridge, and tortillas, but no salsa, cheese, or sour cream, so I'll probably wind up having fried greens and beans on tortillas tomorrow. It was sad to see the Phoenix Public Market building shuttered up. Leaving the house after a few days in always feels surreal anyway. I spent Saturday working on the bike, swapping out my destroyed rear derailleur, installing the replacement foot cage, changing out the brake pads, The party went late and then Tauber made us pancakes (yum!). If it wasn't established in the story already, I haven't been eating very well since I got back, as usual. It's feast or famine. When I'm hanging out with rebeccmeister, it's cake and icecream every day. On numerous occasions, she has baked a cake while there was already a cake. So, coming home to an empty fridge feels like just penance for the weight I madly put on there. Apparently Tauber has been buying the raw milk from Tempe Farmer Market, so I got to sample that, and it was used in the batter. Guzy was still on the same sthick he was when I left -- that my bike is ugly and a certain other friend needs to chill out. Stevie made an appearance and Vee didn't, so it's like no time has passed. I spent today doing taxes, which involved logging into IRA accounts and HSA accounts and other crap I didn't have before to pull stuff together. TurboTax runs you through a huge gauntlet of yes/no questions, and then repeatedly tries to upsell you crap -- HSAs and IRAs and money managers and mortages and other crap, even though you're already paying them $49.95 (argh). They keep asking the same questions over and over. I had to tell them my profession three times before the end, my social security number twice, and three time each that I didn't have a student loan or mortgage (oh, you don't? do you want one?). I don't think I'll do that again. Using a real human being only costs a little bit more and is a lot less tedious and a lot more fun. There's nothing like working with an enthusiastic, knowledgeable professional. I suspect that it would have taken a lot less time, too. TurboTax wanted another $39.95 to do my Arizona taxes and made it very difficult to say no (as in, making you an offer you can't refuse) but I managed to escape and do them myself using flpsed. flpsed is a fun little program. You give it a pdf or ps file, and it uses another program (ghostscript/ghostview) to render it as a bitmap and uses that bitmap as the background to essentially a type pad that lets you place text whereever you like and move it around, pixel by pixel. When you're done, it adds the stuff you typed to the original PS/PDF file as PS/PDF. That lets you edit any PS/PDF file. I know that Adobe's own Acrobat lets you actually fill in forms embedded in PDF files, but screw that. Their software is obnoxious nagware that tries to install other crap, and flpsed is small, quick, and lets you color (or type) outside of the lines. I know, it's remarkable that I hadn't done my taxes earlier. Between deadlines, trying to slap together a presentation, and various other volunteer and professional commitments, I'm basically drowning. One of my landpeople successfully finished his nursing program and is a registered nurse, so they're looking for jobs for him anywhere but here and are planning to sell the house. That means that I actually have to start finding a place to live, a huge ordeal that I'm not at all ready to deal with. As much as my landpeople and I piss each other off, it has been really nice having a stable place to live. I suppose I might as well look in Madison or Portland or Minneapolis, or maybe Flagstaff or Tucson. Flagstaff has snow (sometimes, on and off) and that warms my heart, but the scene in Tucson is artsier and more down to earth.
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